Next to the prediction race Neil clawed one back with Longton’s away win at Oak, though between us we did get 11 out of 12 correct, that must say something about the commitment of all the teams.
There are now two of the 5 places that see movement confirmed, so the battles at both ends of the table go into week 24 with little real change.
To start at the top of the league and the race for the play-off spot, it is getting to an interesting stage and there is a need to delve into the RFU regulations, but first the three games each of the teams in the race secured a five point win.
Old Halesonians 5 DK 33: Old Hales had won at Heathbrook and DK need 4, 5 point wins to secure second place but more of that later, the nervous DK support went away happy.
Newbold on Avon 26 Hereford 5: NoA need to keep the pressure on DK, and overcame Hereford to do just that.
Sutton Coldfield 12 Whitchurch 43: Whitchurch improved their position relative to NoA by their bigger score, but they need to catch DK first.
Well, to mark your card if you look on the RFU website Regulation 13.2 explains it all. DK need to stay their point ahead if they end up on the same points as either NoA or Whitchurch, both of those clubs would be placed above them due to number of wins. If it between NoA and Whitchurch it is likely to be points difference and that is close at the moment 337 against 324, which could easily change before the end of the season.
A week at a time on this particular race.
At the other end of the table, the situation is Malvern and Moseley Oak are down, Moseley Oak have been docked 25 points for playing an unregistered player that leaves them with 8 points. Longton can overtake Sutton or Stour, both are on 42 points, Droitwich are still in the frame but it is highly unlikely that the combination of results will happen.
The results were:
Moseley Oak 36 Longton 42: Neil reduced my lead to 3 with 3 weeks left! This leaves Longton on 33 points now 9 points behind the two clubs above them, with 15 to play for. Oak are now doomed after their points deduction.
Stourbridge Lions 0 Bromsgrove 36: This result leaves Lions in peril; their points difference is not helping them.
Sutton Coldfield 12 Whitchurch 43: Sutton have a tough run–in to come.
That leaves two fixtures:
Stoke on Trent 55 Droitwich 31: SoT continued their good home form, and Droitwich picked up a bonus point, and are all but safe.
Malvern 12 Worcester 86: the size of the win was a slight surprise.